New app to keep franchisees in check

FWO has released a new app to tackle underpayment. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has launched its ‘Record My Hours’ app which equips workers with a record of the time they spend at their workplace by using geofencing technology to register when they arrive at work and when they leave.

The launch comes in the wake of Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 which, if passed, will mean franchisors are liable for workplace law breaches.

Ombudsman Natalie James said the app would be a valuable backup for workers when employers failed to meet their record-keeping obligations.

“Most business owners do the right thing and when mistakes occur, many are genuine oversights and are rectified quickly without issue,” said James.

“However we still see far too many examples of records that are either deliberately misleading or so substandard that it’s not even possible to conduct an audit and determine whether employees are being paid their correct entitlements.

“In the six months to December, two-thirds (64 percent) of the cases we filed in court included alleged record-keeping or pay slip contraventions.

“Downloading this app won’t cost you a cent, but it could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you are concerned that you are not being paid your correct entitlements,” continued James.

She said the app would prompt users to confirm their hours at the conclusion of each shift and users could also choose to record their hours manually with all data to remain private unless the user chooses to export their information to someone else, such as their employer, the FWO or another party.

“Metadata in the app will make it clear when the records have been manually edited and should any dispute arise the FWO will interrogate the app data and the employer’s own records,” said James.

“Record My Hours has a number of additional features that will also benefit the business community and we would encourage employers to promote the use of the app amongst their staff.

“The app allows rosters and work-related notifications and reminders to be imported to a worker’s phone, reducing the number of late starts and absenteeism.

The Record My Hours app is available for download from iTunes or Google Play stores.

It is available in 12 different languages and will automatically detect the language settings on the user’s smartphone.